August 7

Isaiah 36:1 — 38:22

36 Now it came about in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib the king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and proceeded to seize them. 2 And the king of Assyria finally sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah, with a heavy military force, and he proceeded to stand still by the conduit of the upper pool at the highway of the laundryman’s field. 3 Then there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

4 Accordingly Rabshakeh said to them: “Please, say to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, has said: “What is this confidence in which you have trusted? 5 You have said (but it is the word of lips), ‘There are counsel and mightiness for the war.’ Now in whom have you put trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Look! You have trusted in the support of this crushed reed, in Egypt, which, if a man should brace himself upon it, would certainly enter into his palm and pierce it. That is the way Pharaoh the king of Egypt is to all those putting their trust in him. 7 And in case you should say to me, ‘It is Jehovah our God in whom we have trusted,’ is he not the one whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, while he says to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Before this altar YOU should bow down’?”’ 8 Now, then, make a wager, please, with my lord the king of Assyria, and let me give you two thousand horses [to see] whether you are able, on your part, to put riders upon them. 9 How, then, could you turn back the face of one governor of the smallest servants of my lord, while you, for your part, put your trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 And now is it without authorization from Jehovah that I have come up against this land to bring it to ruin? Jehovah himself said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and you must bring it to ruin.’”

11 At this Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh: “Speak, please, to your servants in the Syrian language, for we are listening; and do not speak to us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.” 12 But Rabshakeh said: “Is it to your lord and to you that my lord has sent me to speak these words? Is it not to the men sitting upon the wall, that they may eat their own excrement and drink their own urine with YOU men?”

13 And Rabshakeh continued to stand and call out in a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and he went on to say: “HEAR the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king has said, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive YOU people, for he is not able to deliver YOU. 15 And do not let Hezekiah cause YOU to trust in Jehovah, saying: “Without fail Jehovah will deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria has said: “Make a capitulation to me and come out to me and eat each one from his own vine and each one from his own fig tree and drink each one the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and actually take YOU to a land like YOUR own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards; 18 in order that Hezekiah may not allure YOU, saying, ‘Jehovah himself will deliver us.’ Have the gods of the nations delivered each one his own land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who are there among all the gods of these lands that have delivered their land out of my hand so that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?”’”

21 And they continued to keep silent and did not answer him a word, for the commandment of the king was, saying: “YOU must not answer him.” 22 But Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their garments ripped apart, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

37 And it came about that as soon as King Hezekiah heard, he immediately ripped his garments apart and covered himself with sackcloth and came into the house of Jehovah. 2 Further, he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary and the older men of the priests covered with sackcloth to Isaiah the son of Amoz the prophet. 3 And they proceeded to say to him: “This is what Hezekiah has said, ‘This day is a day of distress and of rebuke and of scornful insolence, for the sons have come as far as the womb’s mouth, and there is no power to give birth. 4 Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his lord sent to taunt the living God, and he will actually call him to account for the words that Jehovah your God has heard. And you must lift up prayer in behalf of the remnant that are to be found.’”

5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came in to Isaiah. 6 Then Isaiah said to them: “This is what YOU should say to YOUR lord, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard with which the attendants of the king of Assyria spoke abusively of me. 7 Here I am putting a spirit in him, and he must hear a report and return to his own land; and I shall certainly cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

8 After that Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had pulled away from Lachish. 9 Now he heard it said concerning Tirhakah the king of Ethiopia: “He has come out to fight against you.” When he heard, he at once sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying: 10 “This is what YOU men should say to Hezekiah the king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you are trusting deceive you, saying: “Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the lands by devoting them to destruction, and will you yourself be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations that my forefathers brought to ruin delivered them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden that were in Tel-assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad and the king of the city of Sepharvaim—of Hena and of Ivvah?’”

14 Then Hezekiah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them, after which Hezekiah went up to the house of Jehovah and spread it out before Jehovah. 15 And Hezekiah began to pray to Jehovah, saying: 16 “O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, sitting upon the cherubs, you alone are the [true] God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You yourself have made the heavens and the earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear. Open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see, and hear all the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt the living God. 18 It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of Assyria have devastated all the lands, and their own land. 19 And there was a consigning of their gods to the fire, because they were no gods, but the workmanship of man’s hands, wood and stone, so that they destroyed them. 20 And now, O Jehovah our God, save us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are [God] alone.”

21 And Isaiah the son of Amoz proceeded to send to Hezekiah, saying: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib the king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that Jehovah has spoken against him:

     “The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you, she has held you in derision.

     Behind you the daughter of Jerusalem has wagged [her] head.

23 Whom have you taunted and spoken of abusively?

           And against whom have you lifted up [your] voice

     And do you raise your eyes on high?

     It is against the Holy One of Israel!

24 By means of your servants you have taunted Jehovah and you say,

           ‘With the multitude of my war chariots I myself—

     I shall certainly ascend the height of mountainous regions,

           The remotest parts of Lebanon;

     And I shall cut down its lofty cedars, its choice juniper trees.

     And I shall enter its final height, the forest of its orchard.

25 I myself shall certainly dig and drink waters,

     And I shall dry up with the soles of my feet all the Nile canals of Egypt.’

26 Have you not heard? From remote times it is what I will do.

     From bygone days I have even formed it. Now I will bring it in.

     And you will serve to make fortified cities become desolate as piles of ruins.

27 And their inhabitants will be feeble-handed;

     They will simply be terrified and ashamed.

     They must become as vegetation of the field and green tender grass,

     Grass of the roofs and of the terrace before the east wind.

28 And your sitting quiet and your going out and your coming in I well know,
And your exciting yourself against me,

29 Because your exciting yourself against me and your roaring have come up into my ears.

     And I shall certainly put my hook in your nose and my bridle between your lips,

     And I shall indeed lead you back by the way by which you have come.”

30 “‘And this will be the sign for you: There will be an eating this year of the growth from spilled kernels, and in the second year grain that shoots up of itself; but in the third year sow seed, YOU people, and reap, and plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 31 And those who escape of the house of Judah, those who are left remaining, will certainly take root downward and produce fruitage upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go forth and those who escape out of Mount Zion. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.

33 “‘Therefore this is what Jehovah has said concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come into this city, nor will he shoot an arrow there, nor confront it with a shield, nor cast up a siege rampart against it.”’
 “‘By the way by which he came he will return, and into this city he will not come,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. 35 ‘And I shall certainly defend this city to save it for my own sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”
 And the angel of Jehovah proceeded to go forth and strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When people rose up early in the morning, why, there all of them were dead carcasses. 37 Hence Sennacherib the king of Assyria pulled away and went and returned and took up dwelling in Nineveh. 38 And it came about that as he was bowing down at the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his own sons, struck him down with the sword, and they themselves escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon his son began to reign in place of him.

38 In those days Hezekiah got sick to the point of dying. Accordingly Isaiah the son of Amoz the prophet came in to him and said to him: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Give commands to your household, for you yourself will indeed die and will not live.’” 2 At that Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and began to pray to Jehovah 3 and to say: “I beseech you, O Jehovah, remember, please, how I have walked before you in truthfulness and with a complete heart, and what was good in your eyes I have done.” And Hezekiah began to weep profusely.

4 And the word of Jehovah now occurred to Isaiah, saying: 5 “Go, and you must say to Hezekiah, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of David your forefather has said: “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here I am adding onto your days fifteen years; 6 and out of the palm of the king of Assyria I shall deliver you and this city, and I will defend this city. 7 And this is the sign for you from Jehovah that Jehovah will perform this word that he has spoken: 8 Here I am making the shadow of the steps that had gone down on the steps [of the stairs] of Ahaz by the sun retrace backward ten steps.”’” And the sun gradually went back ten steps on the steps [of the stairs] that it had gone down.

9 A writing of Hezekiah the king of Judah, when he got sick and revived from his sickness.

10 I myself said: “In the midst of my days I will go into the gates of Sheol.

     I must be deprived of the remainder of my years.”

11 I have said: “I shall not see Jah, even Jah, in the land of the living ones.

     I shall no more look on mankind—with the inhabitants of [the land of] cessation.

12 My own habitation has been pulled out and removed from me like the tent of shepherds.
I have rolled up my life just like a loom worker;

     One proceeds to cut me off from the very threads of the warp.

     From daylight till night you keep handing me over.

13 I have soothed myself until the morning.

     Like a lion, so he keeps breaking all my bones;

     From daylight till night you keep handing me over.

14 Like the swift, the bulbul, so I keep chirping;
I keep cooing like the dove.

     My eyes have looked languishingly to the height:

     ‘O Jehovah, I am under oppression. Stand good for me.’

15 What shall I speak, and [what] will he actually say to me?

     He himself has also acted.

     I keep walking solemnly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.

16 ‘O Jehovah, on that account they keep living; and as with everybody, thereby is the life of my spirit.

     And you will restore me to health and certainly preserve me alive.

17 Look! For peace I had what was bitter, yes, bitter;

     And you yourself have become attached to my soul [and kept it] from the pit of disintegration.

     For you have thrown behind your back all my sins.

18 For it is not Sheol that can laud you; death itself cannot praise you.

     Those going down into the pit cannot look hopefully to your trueness.

19 The living, the living, he is the one that can laud you,

     Just as I can this day.

     The father himself can give knowledge to his own sons concerning your trueness.

20 O Jehovah, [undertake] to save me, and we shall play my string selections

     All the days of our life at the house of Jehovah.’”

21 And Isaiah proceeded to say: “Let them take a cake of pressed dried figs and rub [it] in upon the boil, that he may revive.” 22 Meantime, Hezekiah said: “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of Jehovah?”